Australia: NSW drought hits hard with water restrictions likely

NGIA and NGINA met with Sydney Water to discuss the strategy around water use for industry and Nursery & Garden Industry’s desire to work with regulators on water conservation messages for the garden.

The meeting, which was attended by Sonja Cameron, NGINA Member and owner of Cameron’s Nursery; Peter Vaughan, CEO and Kobie Keenan, Communication Manager at NGIA; and Ray Lee, General Manager at NGINA, was a positive move in opening the communication between Industry and regulators to ensure the NSW industry is informed and prepared for water saving measures.

When considering individual catchments around Sydney, dams are sitting at approximately 20% lower for the same time last year. At the time of the meeting last week dam levels were sitting at 62.7%.

Sydney Water indicated that although the Metro Water Plan had in indicative trigger for water restrictions when dams reached 60%, there was potential for that to be brought forward.

They noted that despite the recent rains, there are major concerns around water levels and particularly the inflows to the dams which are at their lowest since 1944. Of further concern is the prediction of an El Nino event which has potential to exacerbate the impacts of this drought.

While unable to define the detail of the staged restrictions, Sydney Water confirmed they will continue to liaise with industry and will be seeking further consultation, indicating that industry should be prepared to provide support this side of Christmas. They also advised they were working closely with Shoalhaven Water and Hunter Water Corporation in a ‘coalition’ sharing information and leveraging ideas.

Read more at NGIA

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